Indiana Dunes State Park Loop

EASY 18 reviews
#1 of 5 trails in

Indiana Dunes State Park Loop is a 1.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Porter, IN that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

1.6 miles 338 feet Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

beach

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

snow

It is inside the Indiana Dunes State Park.

hiking
1 month ago

I did the more difficult loop and it was a good workout. sand dunes are physically harder than regular hills so be prepared for that. Nice views in a couple spots and really nice trails. Definitely worth checking out.

hiking
3 months ago

Overall, I would say the trails in the state park are an easy hike. However trail 8, or the one highlighted here is not easy. As others have noted it is steep and quite sandy so I would rate it as moderate to hard. I did see children to elder family members hiking it, so anyone can do it.

Besides that, the park's trails offer nice views and the highlighted trail does have some splendid views on each of the Mts. on the trail. I will definitely do this again.

hiking
3 months ago

Great short but steep hike. Beautiful vistas & access to the Lake Michigan.

4 months ago

4 months ago

This 3 Dune Challenge trail is not that hard, and definitely not an easy one. The views are fantastic, especially the sunset over downtown Chicago.

hiking
4 months ago

The 3 dunes is pretty neat to do. I wandered around and did lots of trails. Hard to get lost.

hiking
5 months ago

One of the best sunsets over Lake Michigan you will ever see!

hiking
6 months ago

This was a very fun hike. Started on 10 then went to 8 for the 3 dunes challenge. It was tough but not hard. I would recommend this park and trails. Planning on returning.

hiking
6 months ago

The part on the dune by the lakeshore on the 9 trail is beautyfull. the rest is just good. the views on the 8 are quite nice.
everything is easy (just exhausting when climbing on the dunes on 8)

hiking
7 months ago

Great

hiking
8 months ago

The Scouts had the annual Potawatomi Trail hike last Saturday (March 19). Beautiful day spent on Trails #2 and #9.

11 months ago

Spent a few hours on trail 8. It was beautiful and had a blast with my furry friend but just an FYI the staircase up Mt. Tom is covered in ice during the winter and extremely dangerous to climb.

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

I spent two half days hiking the trails in Indiana Dunes State Park. Trail 10 is the longest trail. You begin hiking through the woods and come back by hiking on the beach. I quickly learned that a mile hiking in the sand burns more energy than hiking through the woods. Bring your camera. I combined trail 9 and trail 10 the next day. Trail 9 brings you back on the hill over looking the lake. If you have never hiked the Sand Dunes, its worth the trip.

hiking
1 year ago

Three dune challenge!! Hard to walk in the sand but a good workout...wore out my labs, they slept like rocks on the way home! Loved time on the beach too.

hiking
1 year ago

Completed the 3 dune challenge. Beautiful sunny spring day. Sand was warm and not too hot. Steep dunes got the heart rate going. Fun trail for a bit of a challenge.

hiking
4 years ago

OK, this trail is no Joke!
For every 3 steps you take up these dunes you slip back one. It's well worth it though, the views are amazing! It has 3 peaks the first at 176 feet(Mt. Jackson) the next at 184(Mt. Holden) feet and the last is at 192 feet(Mt. Tom). The beach is only a few minutes from Mt. Holden, it has an obvious trail to the lakefront. It's well worth the detour.
I took my two cousins and my two dogs with and had a BLAST! If you're not afraid of getting a little sweaty and sandy, GET SOME! It's well worth it, the views from the peaks alone are awe inspiring.

I got a hiking blog I just started(Shameless Plug) for a full story of our day(pictures too). Titled "Indiana Dunes - Trail #8"

hiking
4 years ago

Start at the nature center in the state park and pick up a trail map- you'll need it! Many of the trails are poorly marked, I found myself checking my guide often when faced with multiple trail path options without a marker.

Trail 8 is very steep, a series of three steep sand dunes. Mostly shaded. Great exercise but dont forget a hat and plenty of water!

There are many other trails here too, I would say moderate level is still strenuous, but the views of the lake are unbelievable.

On a clear day you can see the chicago skyline!